I rang in the New Year with a plate of carrot pasta (pasta made out of long shreds of carrots for those of you non-celiac people out there who get to devour real pasta), a couple glasses of champagne, my husband and a lovely couple we tend to always eat out with on New Year’s Eve.
I arrived home a bit buzzed because I hardly ever drink (due to my affinity for migraines and unfortunately, alcohol can induce them) and turned on Taylor Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour on Netflix and delighted in that during some of the first moments of the New Year.
It was wonderful! I hope you had a fabulous New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day!
I love the beginning of a new year.
It’s like the smell of the first snow of the season or the feel of fresh cut grass on your bare feet in the summer. Almost magical.
It’s a do-over. You get to say “see ya” to last year and decide you’re going to be the best version of yourself.
For a lot of us, this is a time to set new goals or resolutions.
And, I’m a goalsetter. Oh boy, I love to set some goals!
Goals really help me focus my time and avoid shiny object syndrome.
Before we dive into my top goals for 2019, I want to reflect for a moment on the last half of 2018 because this has been one of the toughest periods of my life.
For those of you who are new around here (hiiiiiiiiiii my darling!), I have serious autoimmune health issues. I’ve officially been diagnosed with CVID and just recently, one of my practitioners said she believes I also have fibromyalgia. This basically means that I have little to no immune system function and suffer with all over nerve pain.
I used to kinda be like bubble boy with no bubble which meant if I was in a room with anyone who was sick, I would contract it. The person could be in the very back of a movie theater that I was in the front of and I would still get sick.
After years of searching for answers, I found a specialist at UVA who had seen my set of symptoms before (no other doctor had) and suggested monthly IVIg treatments which means I spend one day a month at the hospital getting an infusion of other people’s immune cells so that I’ll have an immune system. No more contracting every sickness from any person I barely come into contact with! OH YEAH!
I’ve been getting the infusions for almost two years now and they work pretty darn well.
But, the infusions didn’t take away of all of my symptoms.
I still had severe pain everywhere…my muscles and joints and skin. And, a side effect of the infusions has been an onset of migraines that feel like a deranged rabbit is trying to rip its way out of my brain.
Due to the migraines and pain, my doctors have tried different medications and every time I take a new medication, my body freaks out.
It takes my body about two to four weeks to adjust to a new medication. You know those fun side effects that are listed for medications? “Call your doctor in case of nausea, vomiting, loss of energy, numbness, dizziness…”
Well, I always get a number of them until my body adjusts to the medication. I don’t know why…it just happens. Every. Single. Time.
My doctors changed my medications at least once per month from July to December. Sometimes, my medications changed two or three times per month.
I suffered from the usual side effects of nausea and drowsiness from some of the medications to super scary side effects like really blurry vision that I could barely see and involuntary tics.
August was one of the worst months of my life. I can’t even describe the type of pain that I was in. I laid in bed, moaning and crying around the clock, begging my doctors to figure something out.
That’s when one of my practitioners realized it was nerve pain. In the beginning of September, I was prescribed a medication for nerve pain and the pain went away. I was so grateful.
Unfortunately, a side effect of the medication was drowsiness and I didn’t adjust to it.
When I say that I slept from September to the end of November, I mean it. I ran Sunday Society and hosted all of the live calls for that program, but that was it. Other than that, I just slept.
My doctors kept saying that I would adjust to the medication, but after three months of sleeping day and night, they switched me to a different medication for nerve pain.
With this new medication, I only have to take it at night and it doesn’t cause me to be drowsy. THANK GOODNESS!
December has been my month of “getting back to April.”
My medications are all figured out for now! I’m no longer adjusting to side effects. I’m no longer exhausted from a medication that put me in the longest nap of my life.
I’ve hit a pretty good health plateau that is allowing me to get back to normal life. It’s the best I’ve felt since June of 2018.
Thank you to everyone who has been patient with my absence on social media. If you aren’t a member of Sunday Society, I’ve missed you to bits!
After a month of building my energy back up, I can confidently say that I’m ready to get to back to things as usual.
With that said, here are my goals for 2019:
1. Learn as much as possible about my health.
If you read the intro (if you can call that crazy true life story an intro) to this blog post, you know that my health was horrendous in 2018 and I’m finally getting back into the swing of things.
My biggest goal for 2019 is to find the right family doctor for me and get a lot of stuff re-tested.
When I started getting sick about seven years ago, my doctors tested me for everything. I saw infectious disease specialists, allergists, dermatologists, gastroenterologists, neurologists, and rheumatologists.
But, I haven’t had my vitamin levels or thyroid or other things tested in years. Being vegan and gluten-free, I have a very limited diet and it does affect my health. If I’m low on B-12 or vitamin D, it could be affecting my energy and lots of other things.
The more I know, the better equipped I’ll be at helping myself.
I know I’ll have achieved this goal once I’ve found the right family doctor and have had testing I want done.
2. Try block scheduling for one month.
Block scheduling is basically blocking out time from your day for specific tasks. For instance, you might block out 8am to 10am to exercise, shower and get ready, block out 10am to 12pm for admin tasks, block out 12pm to 12:30 for lunch, block out 12:30 to 4:30 for writing, etc.
In the past, I’ve always worked from a to-do list with a top three (top three things that must get done), but I’d like to try block scheduling for one full month to see how it works for me.
Then, I’ll decide whether I want to continue with block scheduling or return to using a to-do list for each day.
***I would’ve started this at the beginning of January but I want to document the process and my video camera is currently getting fixed. I’m going to start once I get it back.
3. Go to pilates twice a week.
In the first half of 2018, I went to pilates pretty much every Tuesday and Friday. Because of the decline in my health, I missed a lot of my sessions in the second half of the year.
I want to pick it back up in 2019 because pilates makes a huge impact on my health.
It lowers my anxiety, in just under two months it helped me lose two dress sizes, I tend to feel creative and energized for hours after each session, and I have less overall pain when I go consistently.
This is a goal that I know I can reach because I’ve done it before.
4. Read every day I don’t have a migraine.
I wish I could list read every day in 2019 as a goal, but those of you out there who get migraines know it’s impossible to read when you’ve got one.
Reading brings me so much joy that it feels silly to list it as a goal, but I’m including it because sometimes I pick other things over reading at night that don’t make me as happy…such as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
When I choose to read, I get better sleep and I enjoy my time before bed a lot more. I just need the reminder…or gentle push.
5. Publish 52 blog posts.
Other than in the last half of 2018, I’ve been known for my very consistent blog posts. In the eight years of running Blacksburg Belle, this was the first time I didn’t keep a steady blogging schedule.
That’s not happening this year. I’ve already got a TON of topics I want to cover and I’m ready to commit to publishing 52 blog posts this year.
I’m moving away from publishing them on the same day of the week every week but you’ll get a blog post every week from me. Make sure you’re signed up to receive my emails if you don’t want to miss them.